I’m steaming through my new Scottish book. Not totally voluntarily. The thing has to be finished – at least a reasonable first draught – by the middle of March. Which isn’t that far away. If I can keep up with this week’s pace (10,000 words and counting so far) that shouldn’t be a problem.
I already have most of the information I need. But there is the odd gap. One pretty glaring one was the lack of any recipes from the 1840’s. I’m starting to put that right today.
The beer is a particular Scottish speciality, Table Beer. Down in London, there wasn’t a huge amount of Table Beer brewed after 1830. Probably because it had disappeared as a tax category. Despite it being specifically against the law, I suspect much Table Beer was brewed to be mixed with Strong Beer. The latter was taxed at 10 shillings per barrel, four times the rate of Table Beer. By blending Strong and Table you could get yourself two barrels of full-strength stuff for 12s 6d tax rather than 20s.
In Scotland, in contrast, Table Beer was a serious product. As can be seen by the fact that not only was it exported to England, it also went overseas. A Dutch newspaper advertisement from 1881* includes not only the Strong Scotch Ales, IPAs and Stouts that you would expect, but also Table Beer. It sold for 12.50 guilders a kilderkins, the same as the weakest Porter in the list.
Now there’s one wee problem in recreating this beer. It wasn’t brewed from barley malt, but from bigg, a primitive type of barley that could grow in harsher conditions. This around the end of the time bigg was still used in commercial brewing. In William Younger’s 1847 records it turns up occasionally, mostly in weaker beers such as 60/-, 80/- and, as here, Table Beer. I’ve substituted mild malt.
Goldings should be right for the hips. The log lists them as East Kent and Farnham. So definitely types of whitebine. Even knocking down the hopping rate a little to take into account the age of the hops, it still comes out with a very respectable calculated 35 IBU.
All in all, it’s a nice, light drinking beer. Probably, as the name implies, perfect for accompanying your supper.
* "Het Nieuws van den Dag", 23rd May 1881.
|1847 William Younger T|
|mild malt||7.50 lb||100.00%|
|Goldings 90 min||1.25 oz|
|Goldings 30 min||1.25 oz|
|Mash at||150º F|
|Sparge at||184º F|
|Boil time||90 minutes|
|pitching temp||58º F|
|Yeast||WLP028 Edinburgh Ale|